December Beauty Favorites

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Had this been a normal year for me, I'd probably be sitting here writing a "best of 2017" post about all my favorite 2017 makeup and skincare items. But this was anything but a normal year for me. As you may know, I lost nearly all of my beauty products during the Hurricane Harvey floods here in Houston this past August (more on that here) and I've been slowly re-building my collection since then. Strangely, I don't remember much about my pre-Harvey collection (it seems like a very long time ago) and without the products in front of me, I am at a loss to discuss them here. So I decided that a December favorites post was a better way to go. I discovered several products this month that are worthy of mini reviews, and I hope that you'll be inclined to try and discover them for yourselves.

Here we go...

Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation

After witnessing all the fuss about this $5.99 foundation on YouTube, I had to try it. I actually purchased it a couple months ago, and it sat on my makeup table until this month, when I put it into my regular rotation. Now, I normally don't go for drugstore foundations because I can't be color-matched as is the case when I purchase higher-end foundations. But somehow I selected the perfect shade for me: Rose Ivory (I'm pale with cool undertones). It must have been meant to be.

The finish of this foundation on the skin is beautiful. It covers imperfections smoothly and evenly, and it doesn't dry fast, so it leaves you plenty of time to blend without the foundation getting patchy. It applies well with both foundation brushes and a beauty blender, and so far it has played well with a variety of primers and setting powders. The only drawback to this foundation is the smell - it smells like the paint department at my local hardware store, a smell I don't particularly like. But I am willing to put up with the temporary smell (it does dissipate after application) for the fantastic formula and wearability of this foundation.

Milani Make It Last Setting Spray

I've tried a lot of setting sprays over the years, and I can say with confidence that the Milani Make It Last Setting Spray is not only a great product, but also a great value. At its drugstore price of $9.99, it rivals higher-end setting sprays in performance, and the pump performs better (i.e., sprays a nice fine and even mist) than many of the higher-end sprays I've tried. Plus, it has a nice fresh scent that's pleasant but not overpowering.

By Terry Terrybly Densiliss Concealer

I first read about the By Terry Terrybly Densiliss Concealer on another blog, Priceless Life of Mine. There, Stephanie C. recommended the concealer for over-40 undereyes (see her post here) and I was persuaded to try it. I'm glad I did, because this creamy formula, which sells for $69.00, was a dream to use. I've been using the shade Vanilla Beige in my normal method, dotting it under my eyes, around my nose, and down the bridge of my nose, and then blending it out with a beauty blender. I have experienced zero cracking or caking with the concealer, and it just looks super smooth on the skin. Fabulously, it plays well with all my foundations and setting powders. A winner!

Wet n Wild Photo Focus Concealer Wand

Yes, I've had two concealers in my rotation this month. After trying and loving the Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation, I had to try the Wet n Wild Photo Focus Concealer in Light Ivory, another bargain at $3.99. While this concealer is not as creamy as the By Terry concealer and takes a bit more work to blend out, I'm not disappointed by it. It wears well over the course of a day and applies smoothly and evenly without cracking or caking. And, unlike the Wet n Wild foundation, there is no paint smell to contend with!

Kat Von D Shade + Light Glimmer Eye Palette

I got this palette as a birthday present in September from my best friend Zoe, but I really started using it regularly in December. I have had the regular (non-glimmer) version of this palette for a while and love it, so I was pretty sure I would be happy with the formula, and indeed the shades in the glimmer version of the palette blend like a dream and have great staying power. I like using the shades from the regular shade + light palette for my crease and the shades from the glimmer palette for my lids. I have received compliments on my eye looks when I've used the two palettes in this fashion, which I love.

NARS Kabuki Ita Brush

I resisted buying this cult favorite contouring brush by NARS for quite a while, but one day I was in Sephora and it called to me, and I've been hooked ever since. I love it. It was a splurge purchase for sure at $55.00, but it is the perfect size and shape for subtly contouring under my cheekbones - it really gets into the cheek contour area and applies my beloved Kevin Aucoin sculpting powder perfectly. A must have.

That's it! I would say that it's been a pretty good month beauty-wise. What are your thoughts on these products, if you've tried them, and what are your favorite beauty finds this month? Let me know in the comments!

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